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Encourage interaction of staff about the topic.
Encourage interaction of staff about the topic.

How to run a successful sales training session

Jewellers know they have to invest in stock, shop fit-outs, advertising and promotion however, DAVID BROWN says investing in staff training is often overlooked.

Staff sales training has almost become a cliché in business. Everyone knows they should do it but finding the time, or knowing how, can be part of the problem.

"Retailers that also invest in good sales coaching training programs for their trainers will also see a much stronger sales increases with budget attainment."

Further, 50 per cent of sales managers say they can’t put the effort into it that they know it deserves.

Sadly sales skills can wear off over time, like an exercise class or a good shower! Research shows that 84 per cent of all training is forgotten or lost after 90 days.

Given the investment in time and energy this may make it seem pointless, but further analysis has shown that every dollar invested into sales training can yield up to $29 in results, and staff can improve their performance by up to 20 per cent with the benefits of sales training.

Few other areas of a business can offer this sort of return. If you’re serious about increasing the success of your store you need to be serious about sales training.

So how does sales training make a difference to results?

• A higher percentage of salesperson will achieve budget. A well-trained sales force is more likely to achieve their budgets than those who aren’t.

Research company CSO Insights discovered that budgets were 8 per cent more likely to be achieved by salespeople in an organisation where effective sales training was in place.

• It helps with improving conversion rates.

Companies that conducted training programs that were deemed effective were also inclined to increase their sales conversion rate by 30 per cent compared to those companies where staff believed sales training failed to meet expectations.

• It helps meet customers needs and expectations. Salespeople who have been adequately trained are much more likely to meet customer’s expectations and to make suggestions that more suitably meets the customer’s needs than those without good sales training. This obviously converts into better sales results.

• And one of the best outcomes is that it creates lower staff turnover rates.

Research has shown that companies with strong sales training have greater customer retention, in some cases almost double that achieved by companies who do little in the way of training, or whose training is considered inadequate.

So how do you make sure your sales training is effective? Here are seven steps that can help you get better results from an effective training program.

1. What is your objective with the training session? It could be to know the ‘story’ of a new product line, to understand the benefits of 18ct, different settings, etc.

Whatever the purpose, ideally by the end of your training session, all of the staff attending will be able to achieve the objective you have set.

2. Encourage interaction of staff about the topic but don’t let them take the session in another direction.

If a staff member interrupts with a topic not relevant to the training, let them know you will chat to them about this after the session.

3. Rotate the leader of the sessions, enabling staff to take ownership of researching about the product or service.

4. Role-play at the end of the presentation so staff can show their understanding of your expectation.

5. Add a questionnaire at different times to reward staff that are listening and remembering the content.

6.  Go back to your objective to check you achieved your sales training goal.

7. Ask for feedback from your team to ensure you are adding value to their performance and productivity

Training staff may seem like the first step in the process but often having an effective sales training policy can begin with ‘training the trainer’

Retailers that also invest in good sales coaching training programs for their trainers will also see a much stronger correlation between their training efforts and sales increases with budget attainment.

Staff training is a business investment every bit as significant as stock and plant.

Neglecting this area is a false economy that will restrict your business performance now and into the future. In the same way that giving up on the gym will ultimately lead to poor health and other complications, giving up on sales training will lead your business towards illness and less healthy profitability.

Make a decision that you are willing to commit a portion of your time and expenditure to this important area of your business and enjoy the rewards that it can bring you.


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David Brown

Contributor • Retail Edge Consultants

David Brown is co-founder and business mentor with Retail Edge Consultants. Learn more:

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